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Michael A. Zimmerman
Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research

Finite Elements, Polymer Materials and Processing

Mike Zimmerman's research involves developing unique polymer composite material formulations (with nano-fillers) and manipulating the properties to help enable new products to be developed from these properties. Areas of focus are the following:

  • Thermal properties
  • Optical and reflective properties
  • Electrical properties, up to 100 Ghz
  • Rheological properties to enable improved manufacturing
  • Mechanical properties such as impact, ductility, and creep

Characterization and optimization of liquid crystal polymer surface optical properties:

Nano-composite for semiconductor LED package to reflect light - Tiny fillers in polymer allow for optimal light reflection in UV and visible spectrum. Image analysis of particles on surface helps develop understanding of optimum surface characteristics for max light reflection. High temperature polymer allows for high temperature soldering of LED device to package which allows for maximum heat extraction.

LCP (liquid crystal polymer) material developed for high speed circuits (75Ghz), showing good reliability, in a multilayer circuit. Electrical (loss tangent) property of material is less than that of ceramic. Loss tangent is shown which the enabling property.


Composite Materials for sailboat rudder - Tufts sailboat team;
Hybrid (Kevlar/carbon) composite

Anisotropic materials and design introduced to allow high stiffness in one direction and bending in the other. This allows for advantages in sailing. Sailboat racers spend many millions of dollars to gain even small competitive advantages.